Summer provides time for much-needed maintenance projects at Battle Ground schools
July 15, 2021
At Battle Ground High School, crews are busy ripping up and replacing over two acres of carpet that has been walked on for the last 25 years. The project is just one in a long list that is funded by levy dollars and set to be completed over the summer at schools across the Battle Ground Public Schools district.
Summer is typically the busy season for the district’s maintenance crews, who use the time when children are out of school to make repairs and upgrades. The district budgeted $13,236,643 in 2020-21 to maintain and preserve the community’s investment in schools and provide safe, clean and secure learning environments. Of that total, $3 million was budgeted for large summer projects.
“Many of the projects that are being completed now were deferred from previous years because of budget constraints,” said Kevin Jolma, Battle Ground Public Schools’ Director of Facilities and Operations. “State funding does not cover facility maintenance projects, so levies are critical to keeping our schools in their best shape and safe for students.”
Besides the flooring work at Battle Ground High School, other large-scale projects underway this summer include the installation of a covered play area at Yacolt Primary, along with new flooring and a dividing curtain inside the gymnasium at Amboy Middle School. A new gym floor, new basketball hoops and a new curtain are also being installed at the Pleasant Valley campus. At Captain Strong and Maple Grove primary schools, new carpeting is being laid down, as well as additional carpeting at Prairie High School. At Laurin Middle School, work is underway to increase the number of parking spaces. Numerous security improvements are also being done, including fencing at schools across the district.
Over previous summers, the district replaced roofing at Amboy Middle School and the Lewisville campus, installed new carpeting at Prairie High School, and installed new heating and cooling systems at several schools, just to name a few projects.
Regular maintenance has allowed the district to extend the usefulness of a number of buildings beyond their expected lifespans. By using levy funds for maintenance projects, the projects can be paid for as they are completed rather than borrowing the funds and repaying them over the course of a 21-year bond repayment plan. Using levy funds on maintenance projects means that local taxpayers will not be responsible for interest payments that would have come with using a long-term bond. The district also seeks to contract work with local companies, meaning local levy dollars help to support jobs and businesses within Battle Ground.
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